European Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Sales for Jan-Oct 2016


Photo: Pixabay

While the Nissan Leaf remains the best-selling electric car in other markets, the Japanese automaker’s French partner once again remains on top of the European sales charts. The Renault Zoe was again the best-selling electric car in Europe between January and October, the most recent month with available data.

The Zoe and Leaf have traded the lead throughout the year, but the French electric car has had the advantage for the past several months. An updated version of the Zoe now available to be ordered could help Renault extend the streak even longer.

Headlining the changes for this model is a 41-kilowatt-hour battery pack, which replaces the previous 22-kWh and essentially doubles range to 300 to 400 kilometers (185 to 250 miles) on the European test cycle. The updated Zoe will go on sale early next year, although orders are now being taken in certain European markets.

As always, European sales data comes from the running tally of electric-car and plug-in hybrid sales kept by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO). In the first 10 months of 2016, the Zoe achieved 17,060 sales in Europe, giving it the largest market share at 10.6 percent. The Leaf followed with an accumulated 15,791 sales.

The Tesla Model S maintained its third-place spot with 10,293 sales. The EAFO uses registration data to determine its figures, which is how it can calculate monthly Model S sales. Tesla Motors refuses to release official monthly sales results or break down its quarterly delivery reports by country or region.

Just outside the top three were two German electric hatchbacks: the BMW i3 (6,446 sales) and Volkswagen e-Golf (5,949 sales). They were followed by the Kia Soul EV and Mercedes-Benz B250e, which achieved 3,811 and 2,931 sales, respectively. Demonstrating a considerable popularity gap between Tesla’s two current models, its Model X was in eighth place, with 1,871 sales.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Volkswagen e-Up (1871 sales) and Peugeot iOn (1,619 sales), two small city cars not sold in the U.S. The e-Up is an electric version of the VW Up minicar, while the iOn is a re-badged Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The little i-MiEV and its rebadged siblings are now the oldest electric car on the market; the design will reach 10 years in production next year, though rates were low at first.